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RIP Peter Fonda 

"He should've totally won the Oscar for his sensitive and subtle turn in Ulee's Gold" - Claran

"You're right, it is hard to look beyond Easy Rider in most assessments of his career, so it's great to hear more about these other films..." -Edward

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Directors of For Sama

Lulu Wang (The Farewell)
Ritesh Batra (Photograph)
Schmidt & Abrantes (Diamantino)
Wanuri Kahiu (Rafiki)
Jia Zhang-ke (Ash is Purest White)

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Entries in Mary Louise Parker (8)


Q&A: Hitting the Wall, Moving to France, Dreaming of Sofia 

You asked so I'm answering. Not all the weekly questions of course. If I did that I'd be typing for a whole week with only your questions to guide me. I've selected a dozen questions to answer and here they are. 

Tyler: Do you think Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet give good performances in Titanic?
Nathaniel: Hmmm. Define "good". I didn't expect this question to give me pause but it did. I'll try to keep this short. I adore Titanic (1997) and not ironically. I have a certain level of teary devotion to instantly iconic performances like those, to movie-movie performances that maybe aren't nuanced or perfect but serve their movie in a seismic way. I think of Leo's floppy bangs or Kate's fiery curled tresses and I go all mushy inside and have a sudden desire to draw hearts all over notebook folders with a ball point pen. *Ahem*. So, I love Leo & Kate in Titanic, especially as a unit, but I think they both have kind of rough moments in it. (Seriously. That was the best take?). Still, if I'm on the ship and in charge of divvying up the lifeboats, Leo & Kate get one first. Women and children can fend for themselves. " Ladies Movie stars first!"

Kin: Pick a country to live in besides America, but base your reasons only on movies.
Nathaniel: France, bien sûr. Do I even need to explain? It's the birthplace of cinema and the auteur theory, the Eiffel Tower is key to a million famous movie scenes, the French New Wave still fascinates, and the list goes on. Also they have Deneuve so this win be landslide.

Matthew: How do you feel about acclaimed actresses who seemingly play themselves or variations of the same character in every film? I'm thinking of, in particular, Mary-Louise Parker and Zooey Deschanel, among other actresses whose overall versatility leaves something to be desired. Do you think they are deserving of accolades for their overall body of works when compared to say an actress like Kate Winslet or Julianne Moore.
Nathaniel: Many of the most beloved actors of all time did just this, particularly before The Method took over. Cary Grant is genius but always Cary Grant. Mae West wouldn't be Mae West if she wasn't Mae West. And so on. So as long as we like that core person they're playing and they're versatile enough to spin it or smear it or mess with it in small ways a little from role to role, we're good. That said, Mary Louise Parker needs to get the hell off of Weeds.  WHAT IS SHE STILL DOING THAT SHOW FOR? She's calcifying. That is way too long to play the same character when said character is already so close to who you've always played. 

SoSueMe: Which actors have hit a wall creatively and have pretty much shown us all that they can do?
Nathaniel: Ding. Ding. Ding. Other than Mary Louise Parker. I am pretty sure that Johnny Depp has misplaced his entire once-prodigious well of creativity and is on perma-auto-pilot for the past six years.

I worry a little bit about Leonardo DiCaprio, too. I'm willing to be proven wrong in J. Edgar but I absolutely don't believe that directors challenge or control him enough. He's so talented but I think his career has been too easy for him. If you never have to struggle -- and his struggling ended abruptly when he was only 23 --  don't you lose the hunger that leads people to ravenously attack their role as if this is the one, the best chance to prove their gift? His performances feel too samey and not just because of the furrowed brow and The Dead Wives Club. But when he's "on" he's really something (see The Departed, key passages in The Aviator and ⅔ of his pre Titanic output.)

Manuel: IF Winona Ryder was not burned out at the time and did The Godfather III, do you think the movie would have been better with her?

my answers and the Question(s) of the week after the jump

Click to read more ...


Red Carpet: Emma Floats, Zoe Swims, Jennifer Drowns

For today's Red Carpet Convo, I'm joined by both of my usual coconspirators, Kurt and Jose. In this episode Kurt will lose all his motor skills, Jose will reveal psychic fashion powers, and I will prove my abject sports stupidity. Enjoy!

Nathaniel: W‪e'll start by pretending we're in London -- which none of us are (we've got the East Coast and South America in the house) -- to visit a BAFTA function‬.

Kurt: ‬ ‪I'm there -- un-straightening my teeth as we speak‬.

Jose: ‬ ‪it's rainy and grey down here so consider me in Sweeney Todd "no place like London" mood‬


Nathaniel: ‬ ‪At first I was all "Why are ALL the stars out for a "Brits to Watch" award -- the recipients of which (who?) are quite outshadowed by the starpower  -- but then i realized it was hosted by the royals Prince & Kate which explains it.‬

Kurt: ‬ ‪Hey, excuses to dress up... I thought for sure we'd be chatting up the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 premiere.

Nathaniel: ‬ ‪Patience, would be skydiver, patience.‬ So before we speak of individuals I must say that one of my favorite things is when all the beauties wear different colors. Rainbow is the absolute best red carpet color.‬ 

Kurt: ‬ ‪yes...lovely little spectrum here‬. Are we going to play Guess The Bum? Because my eyes can't focus on anything else

Jose: ‬
‪Someone should tell this to the Red Globes, the Purple Oscars and the Black SAGs‬

Exactly! And it's quite representative too. I couldn't spot any hive-mind aesthetic at the Bafta shindig‬

 ‬ ‪There i go again, getting ahead of things...we can stick with the color convo sorry‬ 

Jose: ‬ ‪I'm curious as to who chose the guests though, why the hell is Mary Louise Parker there and not Cate or Meryl or Kate?‬

Nathaniel: ‬ ‪I can't help you there. As to guess the bum. C'mon on. Look at it. Y'all know who that is.

Jose: ‬ ‪Her royal ass-ness‬

Kurt: ‬ ‪I figured‬

Nathaniel: ‬ ‪Jenny's block has moved to London‬

Kurt: ‬ ‪Can we talk for a sec about her music? I'd like opinions from the group‬

Nathaniel: ‬ ‪i have none.‬ Jose?

Jose: ‬ ‪meh, it's fun when you're drunk‬

Kurt: ‬ ‪now there's a quote‬. put that on the album cover 

Nathaniel:  ‬ ‪Blurb Whore!‬

Jose: ‬ and 'my spinning instructor loves her too‬.'

Kurt: ‬ ‪hahaha‬. All i'm saying is, i'd have a hard time takin' criticisms from her assness, if i were an American Idol. the end.‬ but, she is stunning. that skin

Nathaniel: ‬ I always feel like JLo is always trying too hard. I mean that dress is SO busy with the cutouts and the arm decor.‬

Jose: ‬ ‪she is an American Idol though, she embodies everything pop music has become about: mediocre voice, crazy antics and lots of merchandise‬

Kurt: ‬ ‪oh yea her fashion is nuts...remember that thing from "Savage Beauty"?‬

Nathaniel: ‬ ‪I'd prefer not to.‬ Kristin Chenoweth's dress is reminding me of something and I can't think what for the life of me. That color combo...

Jose: ‬ OMG it's reminding you of Dazzler, just say it 

Nathaniel: ‬ ‪SHUT IT.‬ I have retired my Dazzler obsession. It was a weird K-Hole of spring 2011.

Jose: ‬ ‪Hahaha the moment I saw her, I thought of Dazz and I blame you Nathaniel!‬

Nathaniel: ‬ ‪again: RETIRED. much like Jennifer Garner until quite recently.‬

‬ ‪Cheno reminded me of when Nicole won the Globe for MR!

Nathaniel: ‬ ‪Jose you have a sick memory.‬ Photographic so long as there's an actress and a dress

Jose: ‬ ‪I chose to take that as a compliment‬. My friends are annoyed by my fashion memory, they think I'm like a version of Lisbeth Salander who's into Vogue‬

Nathaniel: ‪Maybe Cheno's dress reminds me of some high-end old-school hotel ballroom corporate function draping? I dunno. it's really bugging me. It's so old money whilst being completely boring.‬

Kurt: ‬ ‪I'm getting lampshade-cum-business drape‬ 

Jose: ‬ ‪I kinda like it though, it's very Cher at Studio 54‬ but I think she needed higher heels to pull it off better.

Nathaniel: ‬ ‪Hmmm. I can't imagine Cher in it unless there were like a headpiece with it.‬

Kurt: ‬ ‪i don't think chenoweth should ever try for cher anything‬

Nathaniel: ‬ ‪Cheno does "Half Breed". JUST IMAGINE IT.‬



Jose: ‬ ‪LOL‬

Kurt: ‬ ‪i am NOT feeling this bolt of fabric Jennifer Garner is rocking. my goodness‬. she's drowning in fabric. save her!‬

Jose: ‬ ‪you just broke my heart Kurt‬ J. Gar's YSL is the thing couturier wet dreams are made of. It's so simple it's just perfect‬

Kurt: ‬ ‪well let's get something straight here: in all likelihood you are a much better judge of fashion than me, but from this angle, I see a fabric attack‬

Jose: ‬ ‪but it's supposed to be about movement, it's very flowy and watery‬. Imagine some sort of Greek goddess thing going on.

Kurt: ‬ ‪i get that...your explanation is kinda working...‬

Nathaniel: ‬ ‪I was going to say that i love the color on Garner so much but maybe anything other than Elektra Red I love on her because I just can't... you thought i was obsesed with Dazzler? You dont wanna know about my Elektra thing. Hated Garner doing her so much.‬

Jose: ‬ ‪she pulls off color quite well, remember that crazy orange thing she wore to the Oscars?‬

Kurt: ‬ ‪that was gorg

‬‪Jose: ‬ It was! but it was such a crazy Fanta color that few people would've dared to use it. Sigh. I miss her at the Oscars, never knew what the hell she was doing there but she always looked stunning‬

Red is just easy I guess, like Halle and nude color‬

Nathaniel:  ‬ ‪or everyone in black.‬

Kurt: ‬ ‪oh god, i just finally caught the arm thing on JLo's dress. what is wrong with her‬?

But wait there's more! Nicole's goddess scoop, Nathaniel plays Marco Polo, Swoosie Kurtz is lactose tolerant, and Jennifer Aniston's secret messaging.

Click to read more ...

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